AFC NORTH PREVIEW
August 15th, 2016
The Pittsburgh Steelers again enter the season with some serious deficits on the offensive side of the ball, and in their division, even one short coming could mean the difference between making the playoff or not. The problem with the Steelers is that their deficits are self-imposed, where as injuries are traditionally the go-to excuse assigned to why a team couldn’t cut it.
For some reason Steelers impact players like Martavis Bryant and LeVeon Bell can seem to lay off the cannabis and for that reason the Steelers will start this season, much like they started last season, with back up players. DeAngelo was better than good last year for the Steelers, a pleasant surprise to say the least, and he was productive on the field.
Markus Wheat took major steps, and it looks like the Steel men finally have a dependable number two WR. Ladarius Green, who had all the potential of a breakout career year type of season is already on the PUP list, and now an all too familiar Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown dial up will likely be made 14-16 times per game. Have fun with that Steeler nation, because this division is no cakewalk, and you are likely on the outside looking in.
The Steelers return playmakers Cameron Hayward, Ryan Shazier, Lawrence Timmons, Jarvis Jones, and William Gay, while hoping for big things from UK alum Bud Dupree. This defense will be athletic and bruising while keeping the Steelers competitive game after game. Eventually they will cave to the pressure due to an epidemic off poor field position due to the offense struggling to move the ball, and the issue likely isn’t going to be on this side of the ball.
Markus Wheaton is a legit number two WR on this team, and should see about 10 targets per game, all under single coverage. He showed enough last season to convince the football world that he belongs, so expect him to have a career year in all stats.
Ladarius Green’s headache issues will be a source of pain in many areas should the Steelers not be able to keep him on their roster. He’s of no use to them right now, and the Steelers have no back up plan at the TE position, with long time fan favorite Heath Miller retiring in the off-season. No TE in this offense, equals no playoffs as Big Ben has never been without an outlet.
The case can be made for Antonio Brown to go #1 overall in all formats. He’s clearly better than the next best WR, and he has the highest floor in fantasy right now, and will likely be the most targeted WR this season, by default, because the offense is going to be average. Pass up on him at your own risk.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a -3.0 point Road Favorite in Week 1 vs. the Washington Redskins, get more of the NFL Week 1 odds.